“Can you go to the theatre in Lent?” I was asked by one of my little flock.
“Hmm,” I pondered, “I’m not sure that such frivolities are appropriate in Lent. What is it you are going to see?”
“Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo. Have you heard of them?”
“Oh they’re a hoot. All male ballet troup dancing the parts of women.”
“Oh dear. I’m not sure…”
“But we were going to take you. We thought it was right up your street. But we didn’t know if you went to the theatre in Lent.”
And so we did, dear reader. We travelled into my home toun of Embra on Saturday night (yes! a Saturday night! when was I last out on a Saturday night?) to the Festival Theatre to watch a bunch of hairy and not so hairy men dress up as ballerinas and perform the funniest thing I’ve seen in a long time. I haven’t been to the ballet since I was a teenager and disgraced myself at the Nutcracker. There is something about a man in tights holding up a woman that just gives me the giggles and always has. As a result I haven’t trusted myself to go ever since. (I can only manage Opera with a bit of sticky tape across my mouth so I don’t singalong.)
We were treated to Les Sylphides, Pas de Deux, the Dying Swan (with moulting feathers), La Vivandiere, and Walpurgis Night. The eyelashes, the lipstick, the hair, the legs, the underarm hair, the pointes, the tutus and the voile. It all added up to a scream.
The wonderful thing was that it was taken quite seriously so the skill was superb. Well, I don’t know much about ballet but it all looked very professional to me and my companions, who are aficionados, told me so. Then all of a sudden one of them would fall off the stage, or make a comedy face and off it would go into parody.
The theatre was full to the gunwales and everyone was complaining of sore cheeks as we left. If you ever get a chance to go, please don’t miss it. Even in Lent.